"God Is Not Fair"

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  • Have you ever felt like nobody really understands the pain you have experienced?
  • Are you in the midst of a crisis, feeling like youíre one hairís breadth away from insanity?
  • Are you angry with God for something you felt He did to you or a loved one?
  • Do you have a problem with receiving and / or giving forgiveness?
  • Have you ever had your very own personal pity party? For a day? For a week? For a month? For a decade?

(ages 12-27)


If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not unusual. "God Is Not Fair" will welcome you into the fellowship of those that have battled and have overcome the stranglehold of grief.

Using a unique blend of humor, personal vulnerability, compassion and tough- minded insights, Joel Freeman tackles the basic questions that most people ask when life has handed them a raw deal.

You will also understand how you have already passed the invisible, spiritual test being waged this very moment for the attention of your heart. When you read this book you'll embarked upon a remarkable, life-changing journey. By the way, Joel is the president of The Freeman Instituteô and has written four other books. Plus he facilitates a seminar program entitled: "Coming To Terms With Life's Raw Deals."

By the way, Dr Freeman's books are currently in 28 foreign translation editions. Check out the open letter inviting you to participate in more of these foreign translation projects.


-- or continue reading --


Foreword  by  Paul Meier, MD

  1. "I Never Want to Hurt This Bad Again"
  2. Cosmic Killjoy
  3. Sympathy for the Devil
  4. Adjust to the Justice of God
  5. Donít Lose Your Spit and Vinegar
  6. The Great Psychiatrist
  7. Hey, Godís Got Rights, Too!
  8. Wounded Crybabies
  9. How to Balance Your Fuss Budget
  10. Buzzard Bait
  11. Mercy Rewrote a Life
  12. Wow, Itís Real
  13. Scandalized
  14. Sirens and Smoke
  15. Innocence Lost, Purity Gained
  16. Skyscraper Theology
  17. God Can, But Sometimes Wonít


  1. Finding Meaning in Pain
  2. The Conflict Between "Fairness" Vs Justice and Mercy
  3. Suffering: A Biblical Survey
  4. Bible Bullets


Many books similar to "God Is Not Fair" have been written recently, but Freeman's work is a specially noteworthyÖRather than easy, pat answers, Freeman offers solid biblical responses. At each chapterís end he asks pointed questions that help readers come to grips with their feelings and reflect on the truth of God's word. In easy-to-understand terms, this compact book explains a profound theological mystery. After finishing this book readers will have the courage to face life's seemingly unfair circumstances and to have faith in Godís absolute wisdom and justice.    Bookstore Journal
When I became paralyzed in a diving accident, I felt that God owed me explanations. My questions were not unlike those of most people who suffer. With wit and disarming style, Joel Freeman helps us find at least some of those answers.
Joni Eareckson Tada, Author and Speaker

It is helpful volume, Freeman combines compassion and tough minded insights in his discussion of the age-old question about evil and suffering. An honest reading of the book will dry some peopleís tears, and start some others!
Robert Cook, Past Pres., National Religious Broadcasting

Joel Freeman's acceptance and care speaks to the heart of many who search for meaning and purpose. In touch with human suffering and pain, his personal faith is witness to God's mercy and love. Freeman's moving message in the book "God Is Not Fair" is one of profound hope.
Barry Estadt, Ph.D., Chm., Loyola College
Why doesn't God abide by my personal standards of what's fair and what isn't? I discovered a most satisfying answer through the stories, humor, and good thinking of Joel Freeman.
David R. Mains, Chapel of the Air
"God Is Not Fair" is one of the best, commentaries to date on the heartaches, trials, and tribulations people experience during life's journey. I saw this book as a means of producing blessing, peace, and assurance to every intellectual level and age group.
Jack Van Impe, Author and Speaker

CLICK HERE to order this book (or continue reading)

Chapter I

All horrors have followed the same course, getting worse and forcing you into a kind of bottleneck till, at the very moment when you thought you must be crushed, behold! You were out of the narrows and all was suddenly well. The extraction hurt more and more and then the tooth was out. The dream became a nightmare and then you awoke. You die and die and then you are beyond death. --C.S. Lewis


Why are there fleas? Have you ever asked that question? No? (Obviously youíve never owned a cat or a dog.) Well, just think about it. What purpose do they serve? Granted, their existence created the jobs necessary in the conception, testing, manufacturing, and marketing of anti-flea shampoos and sprays. But why are they here on this planet? They are dirty and nasty and they reproduce at an incredible rate. Why did God deliberately create such seemingly unnecessary pests? Why do they exist? Is there and answer?

In the same breath we could ask: Why is there pain? You know gut-wrenching grief and sorrow? Does it have any meaning? Letís face it, life presents many challenges to all of us.

Some people piously portray emotional pain as a brilliant blessing in disguise that really is our best friend. Somehow pain is supposed to be a useful tool, teaching us valuable lessons.

The philosophy seems rather hallow and empty, however, when talking with people who are in the throes of pain or who have endured hardship. What about a couple who loses their long-awaited newborn child three days after birth, or the man who has discovered the ugly realities about his lingering, crippling disease, or the woman who has experienced an inexplicable series of tragedies? What should we say when they ask, "Why is this happening to me?" Or how do we respond when they plead, "Please help me ĺ I never want to hurt this bad again."

I think of a woman named Germaine. She is modestly attractive. A woman in her late forties with tired, worn lines on her face. The circles around her eyes are puffy and red from recent tears.

You can perceive her discomfort and occasional embarrassment with the subject matter as she haltingly describes her life in an unrehearsed manner. Listening intently, you realize that her husband, Phil, to whom she had been married for 27 years, recently left her. It hadnít been easy, but together they raised three children and pushed them through college.

They had struggled together to attain the dreams they had shared regarding their family, church, and business. Now it was all gone. All her dreams were smashed when she discovered that her husband had happily moved in with a cute, young woman on the other side of town. As if her husbandís departure werenít enough to deal with, Germaine is angered by scandalous remarks being made by neighbors and acquaintances.

Certain songs on the radio, certain restaurants, and certain memories all form a conspiracy, haunting her with the fact that she was once with her husband. But now she is a separated woman facing a dark, complicated future all alone. The quiet, gnawing pain is there ĺ always present. She looks at you inquisitively, not with a clenched fist but with a searching heart. "Why did Phil leave me? Is there something wrong with me? What should I do?"

You pause. What do you say? You try to form words out of hastily collected thoughts. Without another moment escaping she adds, "I sometimes feel so confused and helpless. And I used to handle tough situations so well." Her emotional level rises slightly, "I canít compete with his girlfriend. Itís really not Ďfairí! I feel like such a fool. I gave Phil the best years of my life." She pauses and reflects, while looking away, "All I know right now is that the pain is so bad at times that I can hardly stand it."

What do you tell her? Should you try to reassure her that everything will work out? That the good guys always win? That justice will prevail in the end?

In a similar vein, what would you say to Colin? He and his wife have struggled with guilt and frustration resulting from raising a son in what they thought was a caring, well-structured home environment, only to have a police officer inform them that their son was in jail. The charges? Possession of narcotics, breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods, and resisting arrest.

Colin is understandable confused. He knew in advance that there were no ironclad guarantees that came with childrearing, but this took him by complete surprise. You listen carefully as he says, "Where did we go wrong as parents? We didnít pamper him. We read most of the books by Dr. Dobson and others on the subject. I tried to be a good father. You know. I took off extra time from work to go camping and fishing with him. We tried to instill proper moral and spiritual values in him. I canít understand why he would do this. I feel like a total failure." He winces as tears fill his eyes and he starts to sob, "I canít begin to tell you how much this hurts!"

A child is conceived in ecstasy, but birthed with much pain. The sharpest, hottest tears of a parent, however, are not caused by physical pain. They are the result of a sorrow that is more deeply rooted in the human soul than the body ĺ the pain of a broken heart. And this is the way it is with life. Ideas and dreams are conceived with great enthusiasm, but the birthing of those concepts invites suffering and pain.

Some people are bombarded with heartache and tragedy, while others appear to navigate through life hardly touched by difficulty. Yet everyone endures emotional pain. Suffering is a universal language.

I know that language. Like Germaine and Colin, I have felt my own emotional pain while crying out. "I never want to hurt this bad again."

Over the years, I have become more understanding of and patient with people who rail out against God in the midst of personal trauma. You see, I too have asked similar questions and made similar statements when placed in the crucible of "unfair" circumstances. When in those situations, I have been amazed by the depths of rage I have been capable of experiencing.

The Holocaust in Nazi Germany is a constant reminder of what lurks beneath the surface of people, even those immersed in education, science, and religion. What disturbs us the most, though, is that the perpetrators all looked so normal. Emotional pain forces all of us to confront that unpleasant stuff that lies just under the thin veneer of professionalism. Is that the primary task of pain? Maybe. Maybe not.

In the future chapters I will relate a limited picture of my own struggles and will share time-tested principles that have sustained me before, during, and after "unfair" events that have left my emotional system raw and bleeding ĺ in a state of shock.

But first, in the next chapter, you are about to meet an unusual group of people in a rather unique drama. A place has been reserved for you.


  1. Have you ever gone through a painful, hurtful experience that caused you to question the "fairness" of God? Think back on the specifics of the situation and try to remember what your innermost feelings were at the time.
  2. Your past, present, and future "unfair" experiences are prime candidates for Godís  healing. As you read "God Is Not Fair," ask Him to help you apply the principles you will be learning.


"W H Y?"

Thereís a scream, "Oh, my God!" Waves of panic engulf the beach. The once-quiet sunbathers point wildly. A lifeguard races toward the pounding surf. Thrashing furiously, pair of hands suddenly reappears out of the deep. The drowning person is in an intense struggle between life and death.

Think with me for a moment. Do you identify with the drowning soul, the trained lifeguard, or the powerless spectators? You are in at least one of those categories. Let me help you understand.

Right now, the state of your emotions may be saturated with sorrow and you may be grasping, like a drowning person, for the answers to a multitude of "why" questions. Maybe, like the spectators, you are feeling gross inadequacies as you try to assist a friend who is hurting. Or possibly, like the lifeguard, you are in the people-helping profession. You have been through your own deep waters and are feeling used up, needing to be recharged.

∑ Have you ever stuck out your trembling lower lip and said, "Itís just not fair"?

∑ Have you ever been hurt by a snake in the grass, and then felt like you had to blab it to everyone?

∑ Are you angry with God for something you felt He did to you or a loved one?

∑ Have you ever had your very own personal pity party? For a day? For a week? For a month? For a decade?

∑ Are you in the midst of a crisis, feeling like youíre one hairís breadth away from insanity?

∑ Do you struggle with deep roots of bitterness?

∑ Do you have a problem receiving and/or giving forgiveness?

∑ Have you ever felt like nobody really understands the pain you have experienced?

∑ Have you encountered personal tragedy some time ago and are still searching for meaning in your pain?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you. God understands your tolerance level for suffering, and He wants to make you a tough person with a tender heart.

"Oh, no, not another negative, hell-fire-and-brimstone book!" I hear someone groan. Youíre absolutely right - this isnít one of those.

"But what about the title? I always thought God was fair." Hold on just a momentÖ

"Fair" is a fine word, but as you will see, the genuine meaning has been distorted. To help clarify its meaning the word "fair" is set off by quotation marks throughout the book.

Seven years and 10 foreign translations later. Thatís where we are with the book you now hold in your hands. This was the book that burned within. It had to get out onto paper, even if for nothing more than personal therapeutic value. The response has been heartwarming ĺ from adults and teens, professionals and non-professionals, religious and non-religious.

As I have crisscrossed various parts of the world I have realized one thing: There is a drama of pain behind every pair of eyes. The "why" of suffering is the most potent assassin that haunts, taunts, and seeks to destroy the strong and the weak alike.

This book is not filled with glib answers, which serve only to drive honest strugglers into deeper disillusionment. In fact, I am rather suspect of those who seem to have all the answers wrapped up in a neat, tidy package: Ten Principles for Happy Sufferers. Instead, I want to hand you some tools. I also want you to know that we are in this together. I am learning and growing right along with you.

Before you have finished reading, you will have discovered ways to improve your course in life by making your attitude behave. You will also understand how you have already won the invisible, spiritual battle being waged this very moment for the attention of your heart.

--Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D.

Click here to order this book now

WAIT! Before ordering this book
I want to check out
Dr. Freeman's other four books."


   By the way, Dr Freeman's books are currently in 28 foreign translation editions. Check out the open letter inviting you to participate in more of these foreign translation projects.



"Dealing  With  People  Who  Drive  You  Crazy!"ģ
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TEL 410-729-4011   CELL 410-991-9718   FAX 410-729-0353
EMAIL info@freemaninstitute.com



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